Out On The Couch
13 Signs You Need to Decolonize Your Practice with Trans Clients:
Paying Attention to Your Colonization-Connected Behaviors
This two-part series is intended to first reflect on the ways in which transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB)-affirming clinicians perpetuate harm connected to colonization, then to present actionable ways of moving toward decolonization and [...]
By Rachel Gombos MSW, LISW
Please note that this article contains content related to sexual trauma.
In this article, the first in a three-part series about kink-aware therapy, I will lay the groundwork for practitioners to gain an understanding of BDSM and key concepts such as consent and negotiation. Many may believe that BDSM represents bondage, [...]
The stress and anxiety wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic may be universal–so many of us face fears of the virus itself, not to mention job loss, illness striking our loved ones, and myriad missed social, professional, and financial opportunities–but all of us experience these differently. Just as everyone’s mental health needs are unique, therapy is [...]
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
In 12-step treatment settings, the Serenity Prayer often makes an appearance at the beginning or end of a group session. Drawn from [...]
Liberation Psychology’s Critical Contribution
Keywords: Liberation, Psychology, LGBTQIA+, Affirmative, Queer, Decolonizing, Martin-Baro, Anti-oppression
Liberation psychology strives to understand and address the oppressive sociopolitical structures affecting communities in order to promote their healing (Martín-Baró, 1994). Developed by the Spanish-born psychologist Ignacio Martín–Baró in 1970s El Salvador, liberation psychology tasks itself with examining contexts of oppression in [...]
Keywords: queer, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA, impostor syndrome, impostor, cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, core beliefs
I thought I identified one way, but now I’m not sure. What if this really was just a phase?
I’m afraid I won’t like all of the changes medical transition will cause to my body. What if I’m not really trans?
In my previous article, I explored the many challenges unique to individuals who are aging with HIV. In order to overcome these, long-term survivors (LTS) need the support and expertise of competent psychotherapists. Effective treatment to reduce symptoms from this type of sustained trauma requires interventions that focus on strengthening resiliencies and creating a [...]
Coloring books aren’t just for children anymore: adult coloring books have gained great popularity in the last few years. They have been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression; increase perseverance; and provide short-term stress relief (Eaton & Tieber, 2017; Flett et al., 2017; Rajendran et al., 2020; Simmons, 2016). Adult coloring books have [...]
This year, more than 70% of people living with HIV (PLWH) in the U.S. will be ages 50 and older–up from 50% in 2015 (Anderson, 2015). The HIV epidemic has disproportionately impacted LGBTQIA+ people and people of color since its inception (Anderson, 2015). As anti-retroviral therapy (ART) continues to improve, the number of older PLWH [...]
By now, we are all experiencing the impact of the ubiquitous trauma and stress surrounding COVID-19 in some way. What might have started with a distal awareness of the problem quickly snapped to a reality that the world will forever be changed by this virus. You might have also noticed the varying “stages of
All corners of our society are affected by the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19. Beyond the obvious risks of severe illness and mortality, many of our clients are managing the myriad mental health effects of financial insecurity, social isolation or co-quarantine, and general societal uncertainty. LGBTQIA+ communities [...]
Telehealth offers psychotherapists a way to provide quality mental health services while still practicing and promoting extreme social distancing. This practice, instituted early, can help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic (Pueyo, 2020; Stevens, 2020). Psychotherapists who work with queer communities should be switching to telehealth in order to decrease the risk faced [...]
As a mental health professional, you may be familiar with some of the issues faced by teens who identify as LGBTQIA+: bullying, harassment, rejection, and physical and emotional violence. One lesser known and often undiscussed issue is teen dating violence (TDV). Violence against LGBTQIA+ teens is usually categorized as a hate [...]
It can be difficult to find guidance on writing effective relationship contracts, largely because the therapeutic community lacks consensus on the efficacy of such documents. Many clinicians believe that contracts serve the purpose of simply negotiating sexual acts and dynamics, and that by creating a contract, clients can sacrifice creativity [...]
The popularity and public visibility of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) continues to grow. Since Buzzfeed first reported on the phenomenon back in 2015, interest in this relationship style has been expanding. A recent study by Schechinger et al. (2018) found that four to five percent of the general population is currently engaged in an open relationship [...]
This is the final installment in a three-part series on boundaries. In the first article, I discussed what boundaries are and why they’re important, and in the second article, I dispelled misconceptions about boundaries. In this last piece, I will name common barriers that femmes may experience in setting boundaries, and will share [...]
In my previous article on boundaries, I talked about definitions and why setting boundaries can be difficult and important for femmes. In this, the second part of a three-part series on the topic, I’ll clarify misconceptions and broach avoiding confusion and shaming when it comes to discussing boundaries.
If the boundaries discussed here are [...]
It’s your right to tell someone that you love them and you want to have a relationship with them. That they get to say, do, and believe whatever they want because that’s their business. But not with you. It’s your right to tell them the harm that their actions are causing you, the way that [...]
As we approach winter and prepare for “hibernation,” diet culture often kicks into high gear. Family meals, holiday parties, and New Year’s resolutions surround us, regardless of whether we celebrate, and become fertile ground for fat shaming. The “holiday season” is already hard enough for many LGBTQIA+ folx*. It can also be an exceptionally dangerous [...]
November 20th has been known since 1999 as the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). On this date, across the world, ceremonies and vigils are held to remember transgender individuals we lost to murder and suicide in the past year. Often somber and emotionally triggering, TDOR allows the community to gather and honor individuals whose stories [...]